is this overprotective?

After finally finishing the Car Seat Safety 101 post, I couldn’t help thinking that perhaps a person might read that and think, “All this nit-picking is overprotectiveness” especially when it comes to things like extended rearfacing and harnesses, and booster use for “older” kids. I think the almost laissez-faire attitude that most people have about car safety is perhaps a throwback from the teenage years when it was “uncool” to wear a seatbelt.

And of course no one wants to come off as that worrywart, overcareful, hovering parent who is constantly tagging behind little Johnny to wipe every drip from his nose and kiss every miniscule boo-boo.

I don’t buy that, honestly. I have the choice to get in the car and buckle up or not. I know the risk of traveling in a high speed hunk of metal and no, I really don’t want to end up ejected onto the sidewalk. So I buckle up. My kid doesn’t have the luxury of this decision making process, ya know? So until he’s living in his own house with his own car, he’s going to have to deal with his car seat warrior mamabear. ‘Cause at the end of the day, I and his father will be bearing the lifelong burden of responsibility of what should happen to him should our car crash.

The ironic thing is that I’m actually rather less protective than average otherwise. Like when he was younger and the toy he was slobbering on dropped on the sidewalk, my mom would pick it up and give it to me, not him. “It fell, it’s dirty.” I on the other hand would be like, “Eh, no worries,” wipe it on my hijab and give it back to him. Eww, gross, I know. Or I’d let him crawl around on the grass with nothing but a t-shirt and diaper on so he’d muss about in the dirt with his hands, pull out plants, and his pudgy little knees would get all dirt caked and grass streaked. C’mon, life doesn’t get any better than this!

As he gets older I’m sure he’s going to do daredevil stunts in the living room, he’ll probably strap on his gear and play tackle football and I know that my heart will drop to my stomach with that one. But being his father’s son I’m sure he’ll be out there running the ball and taking the hits, but that’s part of being a kid.

But there’s one thing where I will be protective, even overprotective if necessary, and that’s in the car. Because car accidents won’t stop just because I’m a bit inattentive about his seat, the laws of physics will not cease to be just because he screams his head off every time we strap him up, and because at the end of the day, accidents simply do happen. Hmm, maybe I am insanely overprotective. But this mama bear doesn’t mind one bit.


Car Seat Safety 101

“Tie your camel and put your trust in God.”

–Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), to a bedouin who was about to leave his camel untethered

* * * *

Child passenger safety–it is a subject that I am pretty passionate about, so let’s cut to the chase:

  • Motor vehicle injuries are the number 1 cause of death among children in the US.
  • In 2005, there were 1,451 car accident deaths in children under 14 and about 203,000 injuries. That’s about 4 deaths and 556 injuries a day (Source:CDC)

The tragedy is that many of these deaths are preventable. Ask any ER physician working in a busy hospital, or any policeman who deals with traffic deaths, and they will tell you how many of these dead and injured children were either not in car seats or were in improperly installed seats.

Continue reading